Weir appeals over rival bid for Ludowici

ENGINEERING firm Weir Group came out fighting yesterday as it unveiled plans to appeal against a decision by Australian regulators to allow rival FLSmidth to raise its offer for a company they are both seeking to buy.

The group, which specialises in pumps for the mining industry, wants FLSmidth to be held to a statement which it previously made saying it wouldn’t increase its offer for Ludowici.

Weir offered A$10 a share for Ludowici – Australia’s largest producer of hydraulic and pneumatic packaging and seals – matching a bid by Danish firm FLSmidth.

FLSmidth has since raised its deal to A$11 a share.

Glasgow-based Weir said in a statement that FLSmidth could be in breach of the “truth in takeovers” policy and that it had submitted papers to the Review Panel of the Australian Takeovers Panel.

Separately Weir said that it had beaten its own profit targets three years early.

The company planned to double its 2009 profits by 2014 but reached that milestone last year.

In 2011, the group increased pre-tax profits by more than a third, to £396m.